Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 picks up not long after the first film. Tony Stark is dying of Palladium poisoning from the arc-reactor embedded in his chest, he is coming under increasing pressure to turn over the Iron Man suit to the US government, especially when a new threat in the form of Whiplash, the alter ego of Ivan Vanko, a Russian physicist with some strong grievances against Stark.

Overall, I had a great time with this film. I really enjoyed the first one, and I get the sense that the studios have learned a lot from the relative flops that were the Spiderman sequels. There are some good nods to the comics, especially with the inclusion of Nick Fury and the SHIELD initiative. Continue reading

It Kicks Ass!

(Yes, I know it’s a crap title for the post, but that’s in the spirit of the thing)

It’s obvious that Hollywood’s on a comic book binge at the moment. Not only are the standards like Spider-Man and Batman coming out, but slightly less known titles are being picked up. Kick-Ass is a fascinating movie about a regular teenager who takes his comic book hobby a little too seriously and determines to be a real-life superhero.

Of course, things go pear-shaped when he gets mixed up with some professional vigilantes out for revenge on NYC’s biggest crime boss. Continue reading

Quo Vadis?

Watchmen is one of those dangerous works in contemporary culture for anybody to touch. It’s a seminal work in the superhero comic genre, which comes with all kinds of nasty fanboy baggage, as well as being highly political. It also presents many challenges for a film maker, even given today’s amazing technology and recent successes with comic book adaptations.

And so it was with a little trepidation (mitigated somewhat by FSR‘s coverage of the whole thing) that I went to see it. I’ve only recently read the original graphic novel myself, but I could already see that the plot was compex and the visuals and narrative subtly nuanced such that there was plenty of room for error.

Overall, I was happy with Zack Snyder’s work. Obviously his previous successes with adapting comics to the big screen have not been flukes. The script kept the essentials of the long and detailed plot together coherently, and captured the essence of the story, and the dialogue was engaging enough (in that stilted comic book way) that I kept my disbelief suspended for the whole movie. Continue reading

Dark Knight: Why so excited?

I finally got round to watching The Dark Knight and had a moderately good time. I think that it was a pretty good package overall: a fun time, good continuity with Batman Begins, good acting, and a script with good themes and dialogue.

To address the question that everybody apparently has to answer, yes Heath Ledger was good as the Joker. But I do believe he could have done the role without putting himself into a headspace that would require antidepressants and sleeping pills. And it certainly wasn’t worthy of an Oscar. My two cents, anyway. I’m probably a heretic now.

From here on, there are potential spoilers, so click through… Continue reading